Jawbone, the developer of Bluetooth headsets and other wearable technology, has acquired Pittsburgh-based fitness monitoring company BodyMedia for a reported $110 million, making further inroads into the health and wellness arena.
BodyMedia, founded in 1999, was one of the first companies to develop wearable body monitors to gauge physiological data with an eye toward fitness. Data captured by its 24/7 on-body monitors is used by consumers and care providers to guide behavioral changes to control weight and promote an active lifestyle.
In 14 years, BodyMedia has issued 87 patents, and Jawbone officials point to its enormous databases of human sensor data – with more than 500 trillion sensor points having been collected and analyzed over the company's history.
BodyMedia's technology is clinically validated; its platform is touted as the only one of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device proven to enhance users' weight loss.
"There's an enormous appetite for personal data and self-discovery among consumers that will only continue to grow," said Hosain Rahman, Jawbone founder and CEO, in a press statement.
"Together, BodyMedia and Jawbone have almost three decades worth of deep tech, science and intellectual property around sophisticated sensors on the body, and nearly 300 issued and pending patents around wearable technology," he said. We look forward to pushing new boundaries, creating new markets and showing people what's truly possible with wearable computing."
Jawbone officials have not commented on the price of the acquisition, but the New York Times reports that a source close to the deal pegged it at $110 million.
“It’s a significant deal because it’s a significant opportunity,” Rahman told the Times.
"Jawbone's deep expertise with consumer technology, design and building products that fit seamlessly into people's lives is the best way to carry forward many of the innovations that BodyMedia has developed over the past 14 years," said BodyMedia CEO Christine Robins, in a statement. "We are eager to pair our depth of insight and IP with Jawbone's expertise so that together, we can make an even bigger impact on people's health and help them achieve their goals."
Concurrent with the BodyMedia acquisition, Jawbone announced Tuesday that it is expanding its UP wristband – which tracks exercise, eating habits and sleep patterns – as an iOS-based platform, with 10 new integrated apps. Jawbone will soon open the API for others to integrate services with UP or develop new applications, officials say.
The UP app version 2.5 for iOS can integrate with the following 10 apps: IFTTT, LoseIt!, Maxwell Health, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Notch, RunKeeper, Sleepio, Wello and Withings.
Once connected with an app through UP, users can view their activity from UP and any partner app, Jawbone officials say. They can also use UP data in selected apps to glean more insight about their health patterns – logging a run or bike ride, say, and then tracking how the previous night's sleep may have affected speed or endurance.
"The platform allows our community to create extremely personal experiences tailored to their lifestyles and goals, and enhance the apps they're already using," said Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy at Jawbone, in a statement. "Our unique approach to building an API with bi-directional data sharing benefits developers and partners as they seek to reach new customers and design experiences that weren't before possible."
In February, Jawbone acquired mobile app developer MassiveHealth and design agency Visere in a bid to refine the UP wristband's capabilities.
[See also: Wearable device market in growth mode]